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Orange Cupcakes with Italian Meringue

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After playing around and creating a delicious Orange Mocktail, I wanted to come up with a mini-dessert recipe that would pair nicely. This Orange Cupcakes with Italian Meringue is sophisticated, yet surprisingly easy. Check out the rest of our cupcake recipes for even more simple recipes and desserts.

These orange flavored cupcakes are light and fluffy and topped with an amazing frosting meringue. Seriously, they just might become your new favorite treat! You’re going to love the flavor of this orange cupcakes recipe!

Orange is a common flavor in Italian baking, so I naturally looked to other Italian flavors and techniques to round out the cupcake. My favorite Easter treat is Italian Orange Bread with a sweet milk glaze, which is a perfect balance of sweet and savory, so I thought a light Italian meringue would be a delicate topping.

Because a meringue is so light, you can get those mile-high swirls out of it, but for me, the point of choosing a meringue over other frostings is for just a hint of sweetness that doesn’t overpower the rest of the cupcake.

Now, meringue can be a bit tricky, but proceed confidently and follow my directions and you should end up with an airy batch of frosting. If you miss something in the directions, you can always just swirl some whipped cream on top!

Orange Cupcake with Italian Meringue

To frost the cupcakes, your goal is to get stiff peaks with the meringue. The combination of the ingredients and a good mixer will get you there, I promise! Just be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely to room temperature before you try to add anything to the top!

My boys love cupcakes and this recipe is one of their favorites. They said that the combination of the butter and sugar pair perfectly with the flour, baking powder, and cream of tartar. There’s a reason that we make these all the time – It’s because the texture is light and fluffy and perfectly sweet!

How do you zest an orange?

Zesting an orange is simple! Simple the flavor of these cupcakes comes from the freshly squeezed juice and orange zest, making sure you’re zesting correctly is key.

Start by cleaning the outside of the orange well and then drying it off. Use a zester or a cheese grater and start rubbing on the orange outer layering of the orange. This is your zest and you’ll want to add that directly into the mix. If you get to the white part under the orange layer, you’ve gone down too far. Just rotate the orange to another orange area and start there.

Specialty Ingredients:

The following ingredients are affiliate links on Amazon because they may be a bit hard to find in your normal store.  I wanted you to be able to see exactly which things we are using.

Reminder, not all ingredients in the Meringue Cupcake Recipe are linked above, just the ones that may be a bit difficult to find or that you might be unsure of what to look for

Shop My Kitchen:

The following items can be found in my kitchen here at Miller Manor. Simply click the image that interests you – yes, they do contain affiliate links.

Must Have Resources:

When making Homemade Orange Cupcakes at home, you really need to have the following Amazon affiliate tools on hand.



Make it a Meal:

I love the fact that meal planning is a simple way to get ahead of the game. It not only saves me time, but it saves my sanity, too! Plus everyone in the family loves knowing what is exactly planned for the meals!

Main Dish: Chicken Pasta Bake Recipes

Vegetable Side: Asparagus on George Foreman Grill

Starch Side: Oven Steak Fries Recipe

Refreshing Drink: Orange Mocktail Recipe

Best Cupcake Recipes:

Once you make these Cupcakes Topped with Meringue Recipe, keep going with that want! You can easily make so many more cupcake recipes, and I’ve gathered up some of my favorites for you below!

This Heath Bar Crunch Cupcakes Recipe will make you crave even more! So sweet and flavorful!

I love how these Baby Boy Bow Tie Cupcakes look and taste! Great for a baby shower, too!

These Easy Snowman Cupcakes are perfect for winter treats.

Everyone will love these Oreo Cookie Cupcakes! Hands down delicious!

These 4th of July Jello Cupcakes are festive, fun, and yummy!

Don’t miss out on making these Turtle Cupcakes Recipe from a Cake Mix! Fast and so simple!

You’re going to be so happy with how these Adorable and Delicious Octopus Cupcakes turn out!

How do you store leftover cupcakes?

Storing leftover cupcakes is simple. Make sure to let them cool down all the way and then store them in an airtight container. These cupcakes should be stored in the fridge to keep them chilled.

More Orange Recipes:

Orange Cupcakes with Italian Meringue

Orange Cupcakes with Italian Meringue

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

These Orange Cupcakes with Italian Meringue are so tasty!


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream if you want a lighter texture use half and half
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange extract optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 large egg whites room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted butter room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a second bowl, blend together butter, granulated sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in eggs, one at a time. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the cream, orange juice, orange extract and vanilla extract.

Slowly add half of the flour mixture to the butter-sugar batter, blend, then add half of the cream mixture, blend, and repeat.

Portion out the batter into cupcake liners.

Bake cupcakes 22-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.


Place 1 cup of sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer gently.

Meanwhile, place egg whites in a mixing bowl and whip on low speed until light and frothy. Add cream of tartar and turn speed to medium-high. When soft peaks begin to form, slowly add in 1/4 cup of sugar. Whip until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Bring the sugar/water mixture to a rapid boil and cook until it reaches 248˚ to 250˚ F on a candy thermometer.

With the mixer running, pour syrup in a thin, steady stream directly into the meringue. Whip meringue until cool to the touch, 5-8 minutes.

With the mixer running, add butter a couple tablespoons at a time. The meringue is done when it is the consistency of whipped cream.

Did you make this recipe?

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Are you going to top these orange cupcakes with meringue or another type of creamy frosting instead?

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